What to do in Amsterdam in July

Buckle your seatbelts everybody, this is going to be an excellent month.

Here’s a selection of what to do:

Docu by Night (I.D.F.A.) at Pakhuis de Zwijger: (today through 20 July, Tuesday through Friday, starting at 10 pm) Do you remember last November during the International Documentary Festival when you wanted to see all of those really brilliant documentaries, but you couldn’t because they sold out too soon (curses!)?  So then you thought that you would just go home and download them, but piracy is totally stealing and so you decided against it?  (But really you just forgot?)  Well!  Have we got good news for you.  From Tuesday through Friday for the next two weeks, some of the best documentaries from I.D.F.A. will be shown on the terrace of Pakhuis de Zwijger.  Open air movies!  For FREE!  Films will start at 10 pm every night, and if the weather turns foul, have no fear- the whole thing will be moved inside!  Here is the program.  See you there!

Films al Fresco!
Films al Fresco at Pakhuis de Zwijger!

Longest Vegetarian Table: (11 July, Museumplein) If you’re a vegetarian, or the least bit curious about vegetarian food, then head on over to Museumplein tomorrow night to join 800 other people set the record for the Longest Vegetarian Table (in the Netherlands).   It’s technically free, but if you donate a few euros to help them cover costs then you’ll be doing a good thing and the animals and people will thank you!  Nothing like good karma to get you going on a Wednesday night!

Last year’s long veggie table in Utrecht. Expect the same this year…but bigger!

Amsterdam Fashion Week: (11 – 15 July) Oh, so you like fashion?  Us too!  But you’re a nobody?  US TOO!  Lucky for you (and us) the Nobodies can take part in Amsterdam Fashion Week’s Downtown Program, which takes the catwalk to the streets with presentations, exhibitions, workshops, parties and more spread across venues around town.  Parties that anyone can attend, so throw on your finest gladrags, and check out the program here.  The theme as far as venues go this year is “Green Hotspots”, and not to pat our own heads here, but check out number 19. (pat-pat-pat)

For the Nobodies like us!

Youth Food Movement’s Oogstfest (Harvest Fest): (14 July, Roest) If you are not yet familiar with the Youth Food Movement, or Roest, then this is a good time to kill two birds with one spoon.  The Youth Food Movement is attempting to encourage a healthy interest in the slow food movement from an early age, and Roest is just a kickass place to have a drink.  This Oogstfest (Harvest Fest) is built around the humble potato.  The Dutch consume an aboslute boatload of potatoes (frietjes anyone?), but urban life naturally creates a huge gap between the farmer and the consumer.  This festival is a chance to bring them back closer together by once again honouring the age-old tradition of celebrating a new crop, and to do so with music, poetry and a party!  Your farmer ancestors would be so proud!

What your friet looks like before it is made into a friet! Will wonders never cease!

Urban Art EFX 2012 Exhibition: (until 15 July)  You only a few more days to catch a street art exhibition showcasing urban artists from literally all over the world under the theme “from urban to contemporary” at the CBK Amsterdam gallery.   Taking art from the street to a gallery is something of a trend right now, and forms an interesting antithesis on the origins of the art.  I imagine that this exhibition is focusing on that personal progression of the artists being exhibited.  There will also be a presentation on 14 July by Graphic Surgery, a Dutch collective whose art is formed from a mix of photography and other mediums.

Graphic Surgery at work

Amsterdam Bass Festival: (13 – 14 July, Melkweg): Taking place in the self-puported home of Dubstep- the Melkweg- the Amsterdam Bass Festival will be a three-day lineup of all things Dubstep- not just Dubstep itself, but the music that led to Dubstep and the music styles that also evolved from it.  If you praise the gods of Dubstep, then this is the Summer Bible Camp for you.

Our Father, who art in da-bass-line-pumpeth…

A Day at the Park: (21 July) Celebrating its fifth year, A Day at the Park is now bigger and better than ever.  They have added a third stage this year, so the line-up ranges from the Heavy Hitters (Richie Hawtin & Groove Armada for instance) to the Up-and-Coming on the stage called “Under the Radar”.  Full lineup is here, and notice what they call one of their stages…. “From Amsterdam with Love”.  Hhhhmmm, wonder where they got that from….. (cough-cough-look-here

A Day at the Park…not quite the gentle day of picnic that you were thinking…

 Milkshake Festival: (22 July, Westerpark) We can’t put this any better, so we’re just going to take it right from the website: “Milkshake is not just a festival. Of course it’s all about entertainment, but Milkshake has a clear and strong message. Milkshake is about courtesy, freedom and tolerance, but also about love and thinking outside the box.”  Also probably just as important from the website: “For Boys who love Girls who love Girls who love Boys who love Boys….”   Yup….that about sums it up, that’s all you need to know.

Their Milkshakes will bring all the boys to the yard.

 And there you have it.  From harvest festivals to street art exhibitions, with a lot of party in between.  Isn’t it a great time to be alive and in Amsterdam?

We think so too. 

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